Canada on Thursday said it would impose sanctions on nine Myanmar military officials, saying the coup has led to mass detentions, the use of force and restrictions to democratic freedoms, according to a foreign ministry statement.

“We work alongside our international partners who call for the restoration of the democratically-elected government, and we echo their calls for the Myanmar military to release those who have been unjustly detained in the military takeover,” Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said in the statement.

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Britain announced similar sanctions earlier on Thursday, accusing them of serious human rights violations following a military coup in the Asian country.

Myanmar‘s military has arrested civilian leaders, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and announced a year-long state of emergency, alleging that an election in November was beset by fraud. The electoral commission dismissed the army’s complaints.

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The military junta, which did not immediately comment on Britain’s decision, has promised a new election and defended its Feb. 1 seizure of power, denying it was a coup. It has not given a date for a new election.

Click to play video 'Myanmar coup: Tens of thousands rally in cities against military coup'

Myanmar coup: Tens of thousands rally in cities against military coup

Myanmar coup: Tens of thousands rally in cities against military coup – Feb 7, 2021

“We, alongside our international allies will hold the Myanmar military to account for their violations of human rights and pursue justice for the Myanmar people,” British foreign minister Dominic Raab said.

Washington imposed new sanctions on the Myanmar military last week and has urged other U.N members to follow suit.

Click to play video 'Myanmar coup: Biden issues sanctions against Myanmar’s military'

Myanmar coup: Biden issues sanctions against Myanmar’s military

Myanmar coup: Biden issues sanctions against Myanmar’s military – Feb 10, 2021

Britain said it would enforce immediate asset freezes and travel bans against the three members of the Myanmar military: the minister of defence, Mya Tun Oo, the minister for home affairs, Soe Htut, and deputy minister for home affairs Than Hlaing.

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Britain already had sanctions in force against 16 individuals from the Myanmar military.

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Britain also said further safeguards were being put in place to prevent British aid indirectly supporting the military-led government and additional measures would prevent British businesses working with Myanmar’s military.

Myanmar’s military and police have committed serious human rights violations, including violating the right to life, the right to freedom of assembly, the right not to be subject to arbitrary arrest or detention, and the right to freedom of expression,” the government statement said.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and William James)

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